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Myanmar: Protesters march on as Aung San Suu Kyi faces new charges

Ousted leader charged with publishing information that could cause "fear or alarm"

myanmar-protests-General-Min-Aung-Hlaing-reuters Demonstrators hold shields with attached pictures of Myanmar's military junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing, during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021 | REUTERS/Stringer

Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi faces two new charges from the military junta. Suu Kyi appeared at a court hearing via video link on Monday, a day after 18 protesters lost their lives as security forces used gunfire, teargas, rubber bullets and stun grenade to disperse protesters in five cities. This is the first time the leader of the National League for Democracy has been seen in public since she was ousted by military leaders in a coup on February 1. 

Suu Kyi, who is facing charges of illegal possession of walkie talkies, is being charged with the publication of information that may "cause fear or alarm” or disrupt “public tranquillity”. It is from the colonial-era penal code. Suu Kyi is also being charged with violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols. 

Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in court after a day of deadly violence in Myanmar. There is fear among protestors that Suu Kyi may be prevented from contesting elections.

Military leadership maintains that the elections in November last year, that Suu Kyi won by a landslide is fraudulent. 

Even as Suu Kyi’s hearing was on, protesters marched on the streets of Kale town, holding up her pictures and chanting, "democracy, our cause, our cause". Protesters also marched in the town of Bagan. 

Tom Andrews, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, has proposed a global arms embargo, sanctions from more countries on military leaders and a UN Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court.


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